War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0867 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

Search Civil War Official Records

ing urgently called for, the two companies then in hand were sent forward, under command of Major Dillman, and did excellent service, acting upon the right flank of the Thirty-seventh New York. Three companies were deployed, by order of General Heintzelman, across the road, with orders to stop all stragglers from passing to the rear. The other five companies, as soon as concentrated, were conducted by myself to the scene of action, where I reported my command to General Heintzelman, who placed me in position to support a line which was then being formed upon the right of the road. This front line, when ordered forward, did not number more than 60 men, who broke and passed to our rear without firing more than five or six rounds.

At this moment Colonel Hays, Sixty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, urged me to advance, but seeing all our forces on the left of the road in full retreat, with the enemy close upon them, I declined to do so, as it would only be to sacrifice the small force under my command. I then moved the regiment in line of battle to the rear about 500 yards, and took up a position in a wooded ravine, which I was confident I could hold, as the ground over which the enemy would have been compelled to approach us was clear, while we had the advantage of cover. At this time the enemy occupied the edge of the woods nearest us, with no troops of our army in front or on our flanks. Upon representations made by Colonel Hays, General Jameson gave me an order to move forward, which was obeyed with alacrity. We moved over the open space to within 50 yards of the enemy, all the time subjected to a murderous fire from both sides of the road. I soon found that to hold or to attempt to hold the position we were then in was utterly impossible, and with the assent of General Jameson I gave the order to retreat, which was done in line of battle and in better order than could have been expected, being the last troops to leave the field.

I can testify to the good conduct of both officers and men. All acted nobly, but I must make special mention of Lieutenant Colonel A. W. Williams and Lieutenant Richard H. Mahon, regimental adjutant, who rendered me at all times the greatest assistance. I must mention in the highest terms Dr. E. J. Bonine, regimental surgeon, who has done his whole duty through two battles. He is invaluable to the regiment, and has rendered his department in the highest degree efficient. Annexed please find a list of our losses, which occurred in seven companies of 40 men each.*

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ORLANDO M. POE,

Colonel Second Michigan Volunteers.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL,

Berry's Brigade.

Numbers 67. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Ambrose A. Stevens,

Third Michigan Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRD REGIMENT MICHIGAN VOLUNTEERS, Berry's Brigade Camp, Va., June 1, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you a brief account of the part taken by the Third Michigan Volunteers in the battle of yesterday:

At about 2 o'clock p. m. your order was received to take our posi-

---------------

*Embodied in return, p. 760.

---------------